Southern Copper Corporation is a mining company that was founded in 1952. The current incarnation of Southern Copper can be traced to the 2005 acquisition of Mexican copper producer Minera México by Southern Peru Copper Corporation.
75.1 percent of Southern Copper is owned by Mexican mining conglomerate Grupo México. Based on 2007 reserves data, Southern Copper is the world's largest publicly traded copper mining company and the world's seventh largest copper mining company based on 2007 sales. In addition, the firm is the eighth largest copper smelting company. The firm ranks among the world's largest producers of molybdenum, silver, and zinc.
The company is a major producer and refiner of copper, molybdenum, zinc, silver, lead, and gold, and operates mines and smelters in Mexico and in Peru, in the Andes mountains southeast of Lima.
The firm's operations are primarily within southern Peru and northern Mexico.
Southern Peruvian operations include the mines located at the Cuajone and Toquepala mines. The two mines produced a total of 359,655 tons of copper in 2007, with Cuajone producing 182,117 tons and Toquepala producing 177,538 tons respectively.
A recent strike at the largest mine, Cuajone, was suspended pending mediation between the two parties.
Tia Maria is a copper project mine which has been granted the environmental approval by the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mining (MINEM) to move forward with the project development. Geoservice Ingeniería was the engineering and consulting firm in charge of executing satisfactory the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies, the EIA approval was received on August 1, 2014 with directorial resolution Nº392-2014-MEM/DGA-AM given by MINEM.
The social protest against the project started in March 2015, causing tens of injuries and up to the beginning of May 2015, two deaths have also led to massive strikes and road blocks in the region. Local farmers fear the open-pit project will contaminate water supplies and cover their crops in dust.
The Cananea Mine, located in northern Mexico, produced 98,503 tons of copper in 2007. It is among the world's largest copper mines in terms of reserves, and has the longest remaining mine life of any major open-pit copper mine in the world, based on current production levels.
La Caridad Mine, located in northern Mexico, produced 124,972 tons of copper in 2007.